Did Taravangian meet the Nightwatcher? Or Cultivation?
Cultivation. Good question.
Did Taravangian meet the Nightwatcher? Or Cultivation?
Cultivation. Good question.
I asked what's up with Warbreaker's sequel and if we'll get to see Endowment get a bigger role.
Can Susebron break Nightblood's commands?
Susebron just isn't strong enough.
Could Shashara have retrieved her Breath from Nightblood?
Not by means she knew.
Brandon said this is the first confirmation of a second Shardpool on Sel when he signed my book.
There is a second Shardpool.
How will time bending metals (of Allomancers) affect electronic devices?
RAFO, but they will probably be OK.
Can a Shardblade cut a drab or just a soul? As they are only half alive..
A Shardblade would cut the soul, killing the drab.
If an individual has a mental sickness, such as multiple personalities, can that affect a Shard's intent if picked up by him or her?
Yes, that is possible.
Is it possible that Autonomy is one such, and has multiple personalities?
I noticed most of the Unmade have a Middle Eastern mythology inspiration, and could pair them with deities, but I couldn't find a fit for two: Yelig-nar and Ba-Ado-Mishram. Could you tell us their names' origin?
Those two are actully not Middle Eastern but actually inspired by Lovecraft.
Since the gemstones on Shardblades seems to be infused with Stormlight, could a Surgebinder draw that Stormlight and use it?
No he couldn't. You see, that Stormlight is the Shardbearer's life energy, you wouldn't be able to draw it just like I can't draw your life energy from you. If you were to extract that gemstone from the Shardblade it is possible.
But then the gemstone would go dark.
What would happen if an Elantrian burned or flared aluminium? Would they become Reod or a normal person? Or something else?
Like if they got Allomantic powers?
Yeah, like a lerasium [bead] or something.
Okay, yeah, I'm gonna say RAFO, I knew this one was coming.
We can see all over history that people with absolute power tend to be quite awful, was Adonalsium like that?
RAFO, good question and you will learn about this
Can you Awaken a complex mechanism in a way that it will work by itself?
I didn't understand the question.
Like Awakening a gun so it'll shoot by itself.
It's very hard since you need lots of Breath but theoretically it's possible.
If I were to cut an Elantrian's head off, would it still live? Just the head, the body, both or perhaps neither of them?
The body would grow a new head, as most of the soul is in that part.
Which part of the two in Dalinar's oath in the end of book three - y'know, "I will take responsibility [...] If I must fall I will rise each time a better man" - would you say encompasses the Third Ideal of the Bondsmiths best? The neutral version of it, what would it be?
*he thought a bit, hummed* It would be about the second part, mainly about getting better - I will rise each time a better man.
When are you gonna finish the Scribbler [The Rithmatist] - and just by the way I'm a huge fan, and like all of your books are amazing.
Thank you so much!
Uh, so Scribbler we will probably finish... eventually but I don't have a specific date. It's a side project, it has to squeeze in between the other books. When I feel a little ahead on something, that's when we'll see me doing it.
Is that how you work? Just whenever you have strength you just...
Well, normally I'm very good at planning all of what I'm writing and the books that are coming, but side projects like that... like, I will finish Stormlight 4, I'll write Wax and Wayne 4 and I'll write Skyward 3, and then we'll see if I have time right then, and if I do I'll slide in a side project and if not I have to go straight to Stormlight 5. So like, Stormlight, Mistborn, Skyward right now are the things I have to have deadline on and be regular. Side projects is whenever the time happens.
In Elantris, we know the Shards Aona and Skai influenced the large religions, Shu-Korath and Shu-Dereth. When Odium came to Elantris to shatter... to Splinter them, did he make the [Jeskeri] Mysteries cult?
Oh, the Mysteries, the Jeskeri Mysteries? I'll RAFO that for now.
My question is about Bavadin. Is she a hive mind?
No, hive mind isn't the right word for it, but...
So she's not an Aimian or something like that...
She's not an Aimian. That's - that's a good question. No, she is not.
The linguistics there, with the... for the Aonic... so, I had a couple of inspirations there. By the time I was writing this book, I was looking to do a little bit more interesting linguistics, I was looking to explore linguistics, and I like that one of the ideas I had is... I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints - Mormon - and I served a two year mission in Korea. While I was in Korea, I fell in love with the relationship between the Korean language and the Chinese language.
If you're not familiar with how that is, in a lot of Asia, Chinese was the writing system for years. For centuries, people wrote in Chinese, even if they didn't speak Chinese, because Chinese is a logographic language, it's not phonetic. When you write the character, the <Hànzì>, you can pronounce it in any language. It can be written... read in any language - we can read them in English, you can read them in Hebrew. They just mean a concept, it's like hieroglyphics, right?
But what this means is, it's really hard to learn to write, because you just have to memorize every symbol and they're very complex, very intricate. So, around... I think it's 1400, someone will have to look that up to make sure, but... the king Sejong of the Korean people, who is remembered as their favorite king, he came in and said "My people are illiterate because Chinese is just too hard to learn. We aren't Chinese, we don't speak Chinese, we're trying to use their writing system for our language. Let's develop an alphabet."
They got a bunch of scholars together and they built an alphabet by which you can write Chinese in Korean, in an alphabet that's a Korean alphabet. It's really fascinating linguistically, because they create Chinese characters that are phonetic to take the place of Chinese characters in their language and then surround them with grammar only in Korean. So, you have like "Chinese character, Chinese character, Korean grammar... Chinese character, Chinese character, Korean grammar..." and you could replace those characters with Korean ones if you want, or you could just leave the Chinese - really cool.
I wanted to develop a language that had these symbols that would also have... that were from an old language... that would then have grammar around them in another language. It was really interesting to me and that's where the Aons came from, this kind of language that predates their culture, predates their linguistics in Arelon. And that they have developed alongside and that they use in their writing system... and if you were to read Aonic, you would see these big Aons and then little Aonic text between them that is bridging all these ideas together with actual linguistics.
So, the Aons I wanted to stand out, I wanted to... when you read them in English to be able to say... and I experimented with making them all caps and it just looked really weird, but that that would be the way that... then you would have to have "RAO" and "den", "RAO" would always be in caps and "den" and readers had real troubles with that. It just read... it looks like you're screaming, right? So, people would read the name *loud* RAO- *speaking normally again* den, *laughter from audience* which is not what I wanted to say.
So I went back, but I still wanted these... So, I used the two long vowels sounds. Whenever you hit a name, they're all gonna have two long vowel sounds in them that are stressed and then an unstressed Aonic portion pushed onto it. So it's /ˈɹeɪ.ˈʊ.dɛn/ [Raoden], where you've got a-o, and you've got /iːniː/ [Ene], /sɑː.ˈɹiː.ˌniː/ [Sarene], and things like that. And even Elantris... I say /e.ˈlɑːn.tɹɪs/ [Elantris], they would say /ˈiː.leɪn.tɹɪs/ [Elantris], and things like that.
I built this just, like, have... I love it, when in fantasy, the form and the function meld together, so that what you're putting on the page actually enhances in all ways the culture and the magic together, but it did make for a difficult reading experience. My first review I ever got for Elantris [...] My first review that ever came in was "This book is great, but the names are terrible. Brandon Sanderson can't name anything. Keep him away from naming things, because the first book he published might be the most linguistically challenging, let's just say."
So, what's going on here is that when I was writing Elantris... number one, Elantris is my only book that I wrote not knowing if it would get published. For those who don't know, Elantris is my sixth novel and I wrote thirteen before I sold it. And so, I was finishing my thirteenth unpublished novel when Elantris finally sold and so Mistborn is number fourteen. I didn't publish any of those other ones.
So, Elantris was the only book that I wrote without a professional team behind me. And even those early Mistborn books, I did have assistants and things... For instance, I now have a team of fifteen people that work for me, of which nine are full-time. The Brandon Sanderson business is... we take this very seriously and I have two full-time editors who work on my staff in addition to my editors at the publishers.
When I wrote Elantris, I didn't have that whole team backing me, it was just me. So, when we did the tenth anniversary edition, I said, "Let's look and see if people can actually walk in the time I say to the places I say. Let's make sure you can actually see the things they say you should be able to see". And lo and behold, they're like "You say he looks out of his window and sees Elantris, but you put his house over here and there's stuff in the way" and things like this. This is the sort of stuff that, as a writer, it's just really hard to do without a team specifically looking to ask "Can a person walk to... this distance?" and things like that.
Now that I have those resources, I was able to just update it. All the changes to Elantris, none of them change the story, but all of them were meant for these reasons: People can't actually walk this distance or it takes them too long. Like, it would take fifteen minutes, you say it takes an hour... what happened? It's just easier to say "No, it took fifteen minutes", right, and stuff like that. So, those are what the updates were mostly.
With me adding the scene - I don't know if you guys put in the bonus scene - *affirmative from the interviewer* the bonus Hoid scene in the back, which... the story of Hoid, if you don't know, is... he's the character that connects all the Cosmere. When I first started writing, Elantris was the first book ever I put him in and then he appeared in Dragonsteel, which is an unpublished novel, and in White Sand and in Aether of Night, but just little, tiny cameos.
My feeling was - early on - that people wouldn't put up with this <false> behind the scenes continuity. I thought it would scare people off of the series and things like that. I don't want someone to pick up Elantris and be like "Oh, to understand Elantris, I have to read all of that". I just wanted them to be able to enjoy Elantris, but I found out very quickly: fans, number one, loved it. They weren't intimidated by it. Plus, the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] has done way more of that, right? *laughter from audience* When I started, the MCU wasn't out yet. People were not used to, you know, dealing with continuity between different series and things like that on the level they're willing to now. But I found that, even with the early books, there were at least people like "No, you can trust us more, you can give us more of this. It won't turn us off to the books if we know that Hoid is around" and so, I've started... like, you know, I wrote into Elantris a little bit more Hoid for a bonus scene at the end, stuff like that.
I will speak up... I do like the American cover. Some people don't and I can understand... there's like... a lot of people who don't like it say that it looks too sci-fi. And Stephan Martinière was a concept artist for science fiction movies and the book, the cover feels too sci-fi for a lot of people.
In Arcanum Unbounded you mentioned that Sel is one of the biggest planets. You also mentioned that there are three empires on that planet. In Elantris 2 two will we get... You also mentioned that they are largely ignorant of each other, will we get a book in which those empires interact? Maybe in Elantris 2?
Also, can you please specify on their nature and maybe some inspirations you got when writing and thinking about them?
So, sure. Sel wears its inspirations quite blatantly on its sleeve, right? It's not that obvious for instance in Stormlight that the Alethi are based off of Mongolians, because there's so much more in the mix there, that it's not quite as obvious. But in Sel, it's a little more obvious. You know, basically the idea came to me that what if the vikings had united behind a very hierarchical religion like Catholicism, and we had Catholic vikings, conquering the world. What would the world look like and that is where the entire religion came from.
Actually the truth is it's like, there was this priest, right, and one group became Buddhist and the other became Catholic vikings and, you know, Buddhist Renaissance... Italians is kind of where we got there and of course, the Rose Empire the inspirations are a little bit more Eastern and Middle Eastern. For instance, the Grands are based on Babylonian influences and I'm kind of looking at a lot of Babylonian, a little bit of Syrian. But of course Shai is very very clearly based on East Asian cultures and specifically China.
So, the empires and things like that... for there you might have noticed that we've got a Europe centered one, and an Asia/Eastern centered one, so you might be able to theorize where the third empire's inspirations might be or at least a list of possible candidates.
So, I wanted to ask. It wasn't translated to Hebrew yet, but one of your stories has a loosely based magic system based on Shabbos.
Yes. Very loose! It started stricter, it got very loose.
*explaining to audience* Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell.
I was wondering, on the same planet, are there more magic systems or is this magic system going to be expanded upon and built, to keep it in the religious theme?
Yes. There is more and it is... all the magics that I'll do there, they are takes on sort of religious concepts. We'll do more. Threnody is really messed up, I'm just gonna warn you. *audience laughs* You haven't even seen how messed up it is.
*in humor* Half of the place is called HELL, how worse can it get?
Yeah, it's worse outside of Hell. Hell is nice. *audience laughs*
So, yeah, that's my theme...
Will it keep the Jewish motif?
Yes, it will keep some more Jewish motifs, and things like that, because I find them fascinating, so, you will find a things like that, yeah.
So, we know in Mistborn there is this running... you can say, motif about Ruin being associated with the color black and Preservation with the color white, we see a lot of very subtle and a lot of very unsubtle...
Is such a motif present in any other books? I think I see it in Stormlight.
Yeah, in Stormlight you can see it. So, Ruin is a red-gold... not Ruin, Odium. Odium is a red-gold. Honor is a blue-white and Cultivation is green, obviously. So, those motifs stay, when you... when you see a red or a gold, it's a reddish gold sort of thing, either of those colors, it's going to be Odium.
Even when we something we might suspect to be outside influence in other worlds?
Not necessarily, because red can also mean corrupted Investiture in the Cosmere. So, I would call Odium's real color gold, because you're going to see red when Odium is corrupting other things, so...
It's not necessarily on Roshar.
It's not necessarily Odium. So, you're asking for the invading force on Mistborn, it doesn't necessarily mean Odium because it's red. So red just kind of means corruption. I've talked about that before, so. Not necessarily, not definitive, yeah.
When can we expect Elantris 2?
So, Elantris 2... Elantris 2 has to be done by the time I do Era 3 of Mistborn, which is the contemporary era. There are certain things that have to be in there before I can finish that series. So, right now - what it's looking like - I will finish Stormlight 4, I will do Wax and Wayne  and Skyward and then I'll do Stormlight 5. *applause* And then, what I'll probably do is, I'll try to - this is not a promise - but this is what my goal will be because Mistborn and Elantris books are about each half the size of a Stormlight book, I can probably do one a year, where Stormlight takes me about one every three years. So the goal will be to go, Mistborn Era 3 book 1, then Elantris 2, then book 2 of Era 3, then Elantris 3, then book 3 of Era 3.
So it will be a trilogy, right?
Elantris? Yeah. But the trilogy of Elantris is not the same. It's the story of the world more than just the story of characters, so you'll find about the characters and things, but don't expect... Sarene and Raoden will not be the main characters of Elantris 2. There will be a time jump. Elantris 2 is probably Kiin's children who I've seeded to be main characters for the sequel and book 3 will probably be somebody else, right? So, keep in mind that that's how the Elantris books are intended to go.
The Emperor's Soul was intentionally on Sel or was it just picked up as...
No, it was intentional, because the magic system... the way I build the magic systems in the Cosmere is very deliberate and certain planets have certain themes for their magic. And Sel's magic systems are all basically computer programming languages and when I was designing that magic system, it had to be on Sel, it couldn't work on any of the other planets for various reason.
And another question, is the Shaod random or is there a purpose beyond it?
It is not completely random. *laughter from audience*
Also, The Emperor's Soul, will we see Shai in future books?
You will see Shai in future books. *applause* I came up with a really good idea for a sequel for her, also. I don't know if and when I can write it, but there's a really solid idea I have for one, so, we'll see. But she'll make appearances, she is around.
We've heard a lot about the lighteyes' ranking system, but less so about the darkeyes. I would like to ask if you can tell us more about what happens at, like, tenth nahn, the lowest of the lowest.
So, tenth nahn is easy, because that's the slaves. So, it's the middle ones that get really interesting. And actually, in some ways, the top ones are interesting because the nahns, the top of the Alethi darkeyes, would be analogous to how in the early 1800s, you saw a rise of a merchant class -- that actually started back in the 17, maybe 1600s -- but the rise of a merchant class who were not noble, but more powerful or richer than the nobility in almost every situation except for some legal situations. And that's what you're seeing there. That's really interesting.
The middle nahns are also interesting because they have the right of movement, which is an Alethi right that you can leave a city and move to another city. You basically can't be a sharecropper, you can't be required... you can't be a serf. And that power can be wielded over the lighteyes, by -- if the lighteyes is terrible, they can call upon the right to move, leave to a different city and that lighteyes is demoted, right? Because your lighteyes rank can be influenced by how important the people... your civic rank, you could actually become a lower dahn because of that, or at least lose a lot of prestige because of that.
And then the lowest of them are basically serfs, they don't have the right of movement, and the right of movement is a big dividing line. There is a nahn that doesn't have the right of movement that isn't a slave, also, and these people have pretty dismal lives.
My question is connected to an acquaintance of both of us. Namely, a lovely, lovely Australian named Shad, who is an expert in weapons and medieval warfare. It is very easy to criticize books and everything about *interjection* because we have the real things in the world, but in all of your books, you have created magic systems that are so... real. How is the initial thought when you create a new world, what is the initial process of creating a new magic system?
Yeah, so first I'll point you toward my essays called "Sanderson's Laws", which are basically stepping through the rules I follow to make a magic system. There's three of those. I would recommend going and reading those.
The process is really me trying to create something that is both different and unique and something that approaches the theme of the story the right way. Like, I want a magic system that accents my story, not one that contradicts my story. And these things all come together into it: I'm looking for interesting flaws, interesting costs, interesting powers, and interesting connections to the rest of my world.
I read the Mistborn series in audiobook form and it was just such high quality. And I was wondering if that was specifically your decision and if so, what made you choose to make it so?
So, if you're thinking of the Michael Kramer version. That came about because I loved him and Kate's readings of the Wheel of Time audiobooks. And I just... they were my favorite audiobook readers. When they came and said "Who do you want for your audiobooks", I said "Please get Michael and Kate".
If you're thinking of the full cast audios... the full cast audios are done by a group called Graphic Audio and they just do high class work, that's why we picked them. I listen to a bunch of things they've done and I have nothing to do with how great they are, that's all on them.
I want to ask how were the Realms created and does their creation have anything to do with Adonalsium and the Shattering?
So, good question. The Realms predate the Shattering of Adonalsium and are part of the fundamental physics of the cosmere. So they would have been created at the equivalent of the cosmere Big Bang when time was created and things like that.
So, the Shades on Threnody, they're enforcing the Three Rules. Would something bad happen if they weren't enforcing those rules?
I'm gonna RAFO that. The book on Threnody will not take place in [the Forests of] Hell, it will take place on the continent where the Evil is, but I hope to get into some of the rules for Hell when we're there.
I just wanted to know what you think about writer's notebooks and do you have one?
Yeah, mine's... I have two, I have a little... whatever they call them... the little leatherbound ones that I put in my pocket. That's if I'm working on a specific book. If I'm not in the outlining stage on a specific book, which I'm not right now because I'm writing prose on something. At that point, it's just my phone and I email cool ideas I have to myself to put in my file. It used to be called "Cool things that need to be used some time", but it was just too weird a title, so now it's just called "Working ideas".
When I read Wax and Wayne, I have in my head, "That's how Batman would look like if Brandon wrote it." When I read The Rithmatist, I think "That's how Harry Potter would look like if you wrote it." My question is: Do you have this in mind when you write such stories and is it intentional?
It wasn't intentional for Wax and Wayne, but my pitch for Rithmatist to my publisher was, "The Muggle at Hogwarts." The Rithmatist is the person with no magic, who's a superfan of the magic, who gets to go to the magic school. So for The Rithmatist, it was actually part of my original pitch and concept, so yeah.
I have a question about emotional Allomancy and ways it can affect things that aren't from Scadrial. Specifically, I had a conversation about what it would do to Lifeless.
Emotional Allomancy would have a more compelling effect on Lifeless than on a regular person.
Like breaking Lifeless with Allomancy?
Oh... to break Lifeless. This... I'll RAFO that for now, just because the actual details there I'm gonna RAFO. So, you're really asking, "Can emotional Allomancy bring back the person behind the Lifeless," and that I'll have to RAFO.
I meant like breaking the Command.
Oh, breaking the command of a Lifeless. Ohhhh... I'll still RAFO that. *laughter and applause from audience* That's not nearly as difficult a question, but yeah... I would say if you're doing that in a roleplaying game, I would call that a viable use of the magic as currently understood. So you could make that happen and have my authority to do it.
We know that on Sel, it's incredibly difficult to worldhop there because of a certain dangerous factor in the Cognitive Realm.
Is it possible to worldhop by means that are not through the Cognitive Realm?
You wouldn't call it worldhopping, but if you could FTL there, you could get there without having to go through the problems. I call worldhopping mostly using non-physical means, but we haven't gotten there in the Cosmere really yet, except for, like, Sixth of the Dusk and things. So, the fan terminology may include worldhopping as jumping in your ship and FTLing over. But... nothing would prevent that. If you had a ship that could FTL using one of the magic systems in the Physical Realm, you would probably be okay, getting to Sel.
Why did the Elantrians came to Roshar in the first place? Because the question came up after I reread Elantris, so...
Are you talking about... specifically... the old ones? Yeah, why were they on Roshar? So, those specific individuals - the Ire, as we call them - are a group of Elantrians that are not representing all Elantrians. They were there. The one you've met is there for a specific reason. The Ire are involved there. They're mostly... where you've seen them, is on Scadrial so far, but they're interested in Roshar. You are talking about the lighthouse keeper, I assume? So, the lighthouse keeper, wouldn't... would be counted, I guess, as one of the Ire and is there for a specific purpose, but it is not related to their general purpose, that they're trying to achieve.
How's that for being vague? I'm sorry.
So, yesterday on the metal panel, you talked about how creating aluminum revolutionized our society. So ever since yesterday, I wondered if you one day can see some kind of... like you know, the Empire from Star Wars? Like, a society like that, probably from Scadrial that is made entirely out of aluminum and things of that nature.
Yeah, I totally can. Absolutely, I can see that and it's going to be pretty cool, if I can get it all to work.
We were talking about Nightblood. How do you go about creating characters that are inanimate objects, but come to life? Because it seems a lot different. Also, gods... like, things that are otherworldly, because characters like real people, it's easy to write that. But considering gods and inanimate objects, that's beyond, sort of.
Well, fortunately, for us writers, nobody among our audience will be able to contradict us. Right? So, in some ways, writing something that nobody has ever experienced is a lot easier than writing something that a fair percentage of the population has experienced but you have not. And so, I just do my best. Being a writer is about learning to, "fake it." To pretend you're someone you're not, to pretend to have the experience that you don't, so that character sounds authentic. And faking something that no one can call you on is actually fairly easy.
In the world of Stormlight, we have the Weeping season, where there are no large storms [highstorms], we don't have any new Stormlight. How did the Knights Radiant deal in the past? Like, how did they handle this time?
Well, there's a couple of things, some are spoilery for the books. Large gemstones can keep the Stormlight, though. Some dealt without and just didn't have it. In some cases, they had the large gemstone reservoirs. It was a thing they planned for and there were a couple of other little hacks that are not obvious in the beginning of the series. So, you actually get a RAFO on that.
Have you had any negative feedback from other wheelchair users about Rysn's storyline?
I did go to a bunch of them to ask, so I've been trying. But if you have negative feedback to give me, I would love to hear it, because I had two beta readers in wheelchairs give me the best advice they could. But I obviously do not have that same disability, so there's things I'm going to get wrong.
How do you think you did? How did you do [on Wheel of Time]?
How did I do on Wheel of Time? I think I did as close to as good a job that I could have done. There's a few things I'd change if I could. I think I dropped the ball a little on Padan Fain, in retrospect, and my Mat, particularly in Gathering Storm, was... I got there on Mat, I feel, as best as I could do Mat, which is not as good as Robert Jordan could, by the time I got to A Memory of Light, but it sticks out a little bit. But he just had a big event in his life, no spoilers, just a big event. Just pretend he's off kilter because of the big event.
Those are my two biggest regrets on that. I think I got pretty close to as good as I could have done. I don't think I did the job that Robert Jordan could have done. By definition, his would be better.
If you were in the Reckoners books, what kind of superpowers would you have and what would be your weakness?
I'm canonized in the Reckoners books and the Reckoners board game as Quicksand. My weakness is early mornings. Wake me up too early and my powers go away.
Does Gavilar and Amaram know that Nale and Kalak are the Heralds and that all the other Heralds also...
That's a spoiler. Can you talk around it?
Yeah. So did they know that the people being met, who were they and also if they knew, why'd they still continue on the missions?
Let's just say that information is not being shared clearly and succinctly between different groups that are interacting in the prologues of the Stormlight books. How about that. But the cat obviously got out of that particular bag that you're asking about and the ramifications of it are in the first prologue. You'll find out. When this book comes out, your question will get answered pretty clearly so just know that you'll get your answer in about a year.
My question is about, especially in the Stormlight series, I noticed that you use a lot of different languages and that when people speak in languages that is not their mother tongue, they use different phrases and they make mistakes that really remind me of the mistakes that we Israeli do when we speak English. Do you speak multiple languages and can you tell us a bit about languages in the Cosmere?
So, yeah. I do speak... poorly... I studied French all through high school and my French is really bad. And I was a missionary in Korea and learned Korean and my Korean is slightly less bad. *speaks Korean* I said, "I don't speak Korean very well, I speak about as much as a rat's tail," which is a phrase in Korean. Learning another language was really helpful for writing fantasy books. Going and living in another culture? Really helpful for writing fantasy books.
Languages in the Cosmere are going to vary based on my needs for a given book. I spend my worldbuilding time on what is relevant to the characters and story. So, for instance, the linguistics in Elantris were really important to the story. The linguistics in Mistborn were not as important to the story and so I spent more time on the languages for Sel than I did for Scadrial. I did spent a decent amount of time on the languages for Roshar because all the different cultures and things like that having conflicts with one another is a big part of the story.
Worldbuild in service of the story, is my suggestion to you guys. Spend your times on things that are going to be relevant to the characters.
Is Hoid named after the Sephira of Hod? Like with an Ashkenazi pronunciation? The Kabbalistic thing.
Oh, the Kabbalistic thing. Not consciously, though the Double Eye is based a little bit on the Kabbalah tree of life, consciously. That's the illustration on the front cover of the first Stormlight book. And I have read a bunch of Kabbalah, so it's totally possible that it ended up in there on accident.
How was it that the Lord Ruler was able to speak into the minds of the Terris and ask them if they want to become kandra while he was wielding Preservation?
Lord Ruler... able to speak with the minds of the kandra...
At least TenSoon said in the text that he spoke directly into their minds.
Send that to me, I want to go to Peter for that one. I think we have an answer for that one, but I want to make sure I'm getting it right.
Why was it that Vasher was able to throw Nightblood while fully drawn but Szeth couldn't even drop him
So it may have been part to why Nightblood has less an effect on Vasher in general than the other people, but there's also a little of a bit a measure of experience... but there's some other stuff going on with Vasher.
I often, when I'm building languages, there are a lot of different ways that I go. I am not a philologist like Tolkien was. I'm not a linguist. Peter is, my editorial assistant, but I am not. I have had a little bit of schooling in linguistics, but not enough to be creating complete con-langs out of nowhere. So I'm usually using a few tricks to develop my language, one of which is to look for historical languages and seek inspiration from them.
And the pitch for myself on the whole thing, in Fjorden, was what if the Vikings had created a very hierarchical religion like Catholicism, and had instead of conquering the world as Viking, Nordic destroyers, they had become a religious group. They're really based off of the Geats, which is Beowulf's people, which are Nor--are British, they're British Vikings, basically. And so when I was developing them, I was using a bit of Nordic--old Nordic and things like that--and I'm using a bit of old English, and just trying to get that feel. In Beowulf, because in Beowulf they have some Danes and you have some people from the British isles, and there's this crossing over, and things like this, and it's this interesting sort of mix and hodge-podge of cultures and languages, from, 1000AD, and i really liked that feel, I really liked that linguistic flavor, so to speak, and so, I was really reaching towards lots of names out of Beowulf as inspiration.
When I was first naming all the characters, I did this--it's a very classic mistake new writers make. And sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn't. And this is to name the characters things that relate to their role in the plot. So I was naming all these characters and I was basing their Aons on their personality. Which if you think about, doesn't make any sense. Parents could not name their characters after the trait the characters was going to eventually exhibit?
But it's like a mystical thing! Maybe determined or fates...
Yeah, you could say that. But at the end of the day, if you could look at the back and be like, "This one means Traitor. That character probably is the traitor!" It worked for Star Wars, right? He named Darth Vader, "Dark Father," in German, and none of us got it. When I went back to the books and I looked him over again, when I was editing it, my editor said, "Do you really want to do this. Do you want to name the character this, because they can just look in the back and find out what the character's name means." And I realized no parent would name their kid, "Traitor." I thought it was cute but it was actually just dumb. So I went back and changed it all.
Who was it originally and what was his name?
I'm trying to remember who I named, "Traitor." I named one of the nobles, "Traitor." I'm trying to remember who it was.
Probably the traitor one.
Yeah probably the traitor one. It was more than that. I named all of the nobility these names based on what their role in the plot was.
*Inaudible* Ahan maybe?
Yeah. That's who it was, yeah.